January 24, 2016

A PD Weekend

Hey there, readers! It has been a while, I know. I've been battling bronchitis for what seems like forever! I'm feeling a lot better this weekend though, even amidst all the coughing.

Yesterday I went to something called Share Fair Nation in Orlando, FL. It was a STEAM workshop day and it was a really great experience! Click the image below to check out their website.

My principal, myself, and five other teachers from my school in Marion county were the only ones from our district to take the Saturday to go. It was very much worth it. There were TONS of sessions to choose from and it was difficult to choose only 4! I snapped a few pictures but regret that I didn't take more. Hopefully the couple of ideas I'm posting below will inspire you to go to a Share Fair close to you. (Best of all, it was FREE!)

These are two images from the KEVA Planks workshop which was presented by the creator himself. He had some amazing ideas and I was avidly taking notes. My second graders would totally eat this up. Click the pictures above to see more on KEVA Planks. My pictures do not do them justice. I think my favorite activity he introduced was clearing the floor and together making a huge map on the floor with the blocks. My students are currently working on map skills and I love the idea of collaborating together to make a floor map!

This is a snapshot of my FAVORITE workshop I attended. The presenter was incredible and I left feeling incredibly inspired and excited to teach Science (which is already my favorite subject anyway!). This is a picture of my animal cell created out of candy and Fruit Roll Ups. I decided to make it like sushi! This is the workshop I wish I had taken more pictures of, but I was so into it, I completely forgot. Some other activities the presenter had us try are using marshmallows and chocolate chips to create a molecule, using food items to build houses, and of course, the classic toothpick bridge activity. He brought in samples of student Science notebooks that were so amazing, it certainly put mine to shame and I cannot wait to get back to school tomorrow and make our Science notebooks the student-made textbooks they should be.

I also took a workshop on fostering creativity and the art ideas in this workshop were so elaborate and engaging. I was imagining my students working on these STEAM activities and falling in love. I did not take pictures as it was a Power Point presentation, but the link to the website with ALL the images I saw is coming soon. I wrote it down but left it in my notebook which is at school now. I will add it tomorrow!. The website is still under construction, but if you click "Creativity is Key," you'll see all the images I saw. I really want to try the home-made shrinky dinks!

The last workshop I attended was presented by a humorous man with a thick German accent. He was awesome! He had some really great statistics that put into perspective how important STEM is to young students. My second graders are going to benefit very much from the information given in this presentation. The gentleman was from Hand 2 Mind resources and the link it below. They are a bit pricey, but the ideas they have on their site can be used in the classroom with similar supplies if you have them. If nothing else, they are fun to look at and still will give you lots of ideas. The activity we tried was a 4th grade activity of building a tall building that is earthquake resistant. My group totally rocked it. So proud! I also won a T-shirt and a bean bag chair! :)

It is so refreshing to go to some professional development that is exciting! Too often, we go to workshops that are not realistic or leave us bored to tears that don't inspire us to improve our teaching. This was not the case. If you can ever find a Share Fair near you, please take the opportunity to go. We drove almost 2 hours to get to it and it was certainly worth it. Click the image below to check out their website and find one near you.

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